I’m a southern, former evangelical who just voted for Joe Biden. Here’s why you should too.

I just voted for Joe Biden and you should too. Here’s why:

I’m voting for my adult English as a second language students I teach every week.

I’m voting to protect my right and the right of other women to have easy access to women’s health services.

I’m voting for the future of our planet that so desperately needs climate action.

I am voting for the #BlackLivesMatter movement and reforming police departments.

I am voting to have equitable access to health care.

I am voting for my grandpa who is in the hospital with COVID-19 RIGHT NOW, which could have been avoided with a comprehensive pandemic plan.

I am voting… because we are dying in body and spirit as a country and I want a candidate in office who won’t make my anxiety shoot through the roof every time I check the news.

I am voting to return decency to the Oval Office.

I grew up Baptist in a mid-sized southern city thinking that Republicanism was the only way for evangelicals like myself. But what has confused me most about this election are the evangelicals who continue to believe wholeheartedly in Donald Trump. It doesn’t matter if he says one thing on camera one day and something different the next — his supporters still think he’s God.

The problem is many of them know he’s not truly pro-life. Or a practicing Christian. They see that he’s a bully. And that he spouts beliefs that are completely opposite of Jesus’ teachings. So why do they continue to support him? I might not be an evangelical anymore, but if I was, I would be pretty nervous about the cult-like devotion for an authoritarian leader who uses his platform to spew hate, derision, fear, and lies (*cough cough* anti-Christ).

You say you are pro-life? Consider voting for a candidate who would make birth control and childcare access easier and cheaper to remove the need to choose in the first place. We need comprehensive sex education that would make people think more critically about when and how they have safe sex to prevent unwanted pregnancies (especially in small southern cities like mine where teenage pregnancy is more normal). We also need to make childcare free or low cost so that when people do choose to have children, they can continue to work and live their lives with ease. Until we tackle these two issues, our government has no business taking away abortion access because the rich will always be able to afford birth control, nannies, and abortions. The rest of us are just out of luck.

You you say hate the Affordable Care Act? Consider what it’s like to be thousands of dollars in debt with unpaid medical bills or waiting to see a doctor until it’s too late to do anything because you can’t afford it. I think the ACA needs tweaking, but abolishing it and going back to a time where millions were uninsured just isn’t an option. Don’t think healthcare is a human right or that your tax dollars to help people be able to go to the doctor? Listen to this podcast episode: “The Everlasting Problem.”

You say you “like how he talks” about issues of race? Check your privilege. If the xenophobic, racist policies he enacts don’t impact your life…you have privilege. Educate yourself about why you do. To name just a few resources, I recommend these books and shows: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents; The New Jim Crow; 13th; and these podcast episodes: “Monumental lies,” “The Electoral College,” and “America’s Caste System.”

You like his tax policies? Consider who the biggest tax breaks go to: big corporations that exploit working class people around the country. Read this article if you don’t believe me: “How Big Companies Won New Tax Breaks From the Trump Administration” or this podcast episode, “Catching Amazon in a lie.” The rich just keep getting richer in this country, while the rest of us are struggling to get by. We need change.

Think critically about why you like him. And why you have been told to hate Joe Biden.

Vote for decency. Vote for your neighbors and people you have never met who are vulnerable because of Trump’s rhetoric and policies. Vote to make our country a better, safer, more equitable place for all. Because isn’t that what we should all want?

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Abby Hassler

Abby Hassler

An anxious writer and observer who explores the issues of identity in this crazy, new world. Care to join me?